|Description: The print is a collection of flowers, which are labeled as "Periwinkle, Snowdrop, White Rose, Common Heath" beneath the print. The flowers are polychrome on a white background. The print is mounted, but is framed in wood that is painted or stained black on the outside, and painted gold on the inside closest to the print. The frame is molded. The clear glass covers the print.
History: Floral prints, such as this one, were popular forms of decoration in the nineteenth century. Many settlers took an interest in botany in order to discover new plants and their uses, often from the First Nations in the area. Interest in natural history originated predominantly in Britain as a fashionable and ‘rational’ recreational activity as people took to the field in search of flowers, butterflies, and birds. It was believed that natural history improved the mind and health, and provided a better understanding of God and his creations. For example, Catharine Parr Traill (1802-1899) and Susanna Moodie (1803-1885) brought the British natural history tradition with them to Upper Canada. Catharine documented many species of plants while living in the backwoods of Canada. Botany and botanical illustration were deemed as appropriate activities for middle- and upper-class young ladies during the Victorian era. See: Catharine P. Traill, Backwoods of Canada (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1989), first published in 1836; Barbara Gates, Kindred Nature: Victorian and Edwardian Women Embrace the Living World (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998).|